Q. How did you start looking for information? How did you know where to go?
A. A family friend of mine recommended Planet Cancer. I was hesitant at first, but after about two months of treatment I joined. It was a huge relief to chat with people who had similar situations and feelings as me; fears, side effects, all of the emotional and physical ups and downs. I felt that I could be myself; I didn’t have to hide how terrified I really was. I also was active in Imerman Angels. My blog was another great outlet to keep family and friends informed. However, with my blog, I never went into great detail as to how serious my illness really was.
Q. Was there any advice in particular that you were looking for—and found helpful?
A. Emotional support. The emotional roller coaster that I was going through was tough. I experienced it all—the positives and negatives, the highs and the lows—before and after my treatments. It was great to talk with people who understand. I also received some great advice on how to deal with chemo side effects (sleep, nausea, etc). It’s great that I’m also able to give advice as much I receive it—and I think it helps others as much as it helps me.
Q. Are you ever concerned the medical information, opinions or recommendations you hear may not always be sound? How do you know?
A. I check with my doctor first before trying anything I read online. But I do think the people who have given me advice are good people who are speaking from experience. In fact, I’ve met some of my best friends through social media channels. One friend I connected with actually lives only about ten minutes from me. We met for lunch in person right before I went in for my second transplant. We hang out at least every other week or so. She even went bridal dress shopping with me! We have much more in common than cancer, but it’s great that we both understand how cancer has changed our lives.
Please note: Every person’s online experience is different. Always check with your doctor about any advice or information you receive.